Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Week of Organizing Personalities

It's been several days since I posted, namely because I've had a really busy week working with clients. It's a busy summer for organizing!

My clients are all so different in style, personality, family/home life, work, etc. that it makes it interesting (and at times, challenging!). I have found, however, that there are commonalities amongst clients; certainly the reason they hired me is sometimes the same, but also how they're disorganized, cluttered, or needing assistance is similar.

I notice these things again when I work with many different clients in a close span of time. Here are some of the common obstacles to staying organized:

  • Most of us wait for the problem to disappear on its own. No one really likes to perform routine tasks. But when we postpone today’s work until tomorrow, it creates double work for us. Most of us wait until the work piles up. So very often, disorganization is a result of procrastinating -- putting things off until a later date. Procrastination is really just postponed decisions.
  • We all have priorities that should be set up in the order of importance. When people indulge in the activity that is interesting but not really important for a long time it obviously leaves no time for the essential tasks. When the work piles up it makes it worse. Is the priority having a clean, organized home or having a lot of stuff? If your family acts according to “work before play”, members know there is positive reinforcement for work done.
  • Interruptions and distractions reduce motivation to continue to work. Some interruptions are inevitable and can be accommodated without disturbing out schedule while others can be ignored. If we lose our focus and try to do too many things, nothing gets done completely. Have you ever gone from one room to another, only doing a little bit of a lot of rooms instead of a lot in one room? Having a Professional Organizer there, at your home, keeps you on task.
  • Being in a household with different personality types (neat freak, slob, etc.) makes it harder, but not impossible, to maintain order. Everyone’s got something they like to be organized, so it is a matter of capitalizing on individuals’ strengths. Either you are organized or you’re not, and if you say you were organized before the kids but aren’t now, you never were. To be organized means being that way no matter what, no matter who lives in your house.
  • Habits are hard to break. Some say it takes 21 times doing something for it to become a habit. If you are used to clutter, then it is harder for you not to have clutter. Therefore start with baby steps to re-train yourself and others to make organization a habit, not an idea to strive for someday. If it is really important to you, I tell clients, then you have to make it a habit.